Around 53 trainee engineers will be hired across Cumbria as part of the largest recruitment drive ever undertaken by Openreach.
The announcement follows news that Openreach, Britain’s leading digital network business, will accelerate plans to build more ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband across the country.
The 53 Cumbria roles, part of more than 3,500 being recruited across the UK during the next 12 months, including 283 in the North West, will be located in Barrow and Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Penrith and The Border, Westmorland and Lonsdale and Workington.
Trainees will join the UK’s largest team of telecoms engineers working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install new services over Openreach’s national broadband network.
Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme will deliver expanded ‘full fibre’ FTTP networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs, setting it on a trajectory to reach ten million British premises by the mid-2020s. It has committed to making FTTP available in three million British homes and business by the end of 2020 and, if the conditions are right, intends to go significantly further, bringing the benefits of FTTP technology to the majority of homes and businesses in the UK.
Speaking ahead of the official opening today of Openreach’s new fibre engineering training centre in Bradford, one of 12 new regional centres built to support the fibre roll-out, Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK. Over the last year our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind Government reaching its target of making ‘superfast’ broadband available to more than 95 per cent of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance – but we want to do more.
“Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need. We are already investing in upskilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs, including 120 in the East Midlands, underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality. I’m confident that our twin investment in people and infrastructure will help the UK achieve the societal and economic benefits that come from better, more reliable, faster broadband services – future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”
Matthew Hemmings, infrastructure delivery director for Openreach in the North West, said: “This latest recruitment represents a further major investment in Cumbria. It’s very exciting news for our region. We’re looking forward to men and women from all walks of life applying for these roles at Openreach as we’re keen to engage with the aspiring engineers of tomorrow and to build a diverse workforce that reflects the hugely diverse communities we serve.
“Becoming an engineer can be an incredibly rewarding career, and we’re constantly improving our training and recruitment programmes to make sure we attract and keep the best engineers in the business. This year we’ve invested heavily in upskilling our people, so they can now do more for customers in a single visit and we recently launched new career pathways to give our engineers a clear sense of the skills, accountabilities and experience they need to get where they want to be.
“We’re committed to helping people realise their potential so we’re also delighted to be offering work experience placements, under the Movement to Work programme, to 18-24 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training. North West courses are often held in places like Accrington, Salford and Stockport Further details are available at www.movementtowork.com”
Find out more about the Trainee Engineer Scheme.
Name: Joshua Clark
Job title: Fibre jointer apprentice
Where are you from? Bassenthwaite, Cumbria.
Where do you live now? Penrith
Where do you work? The whole of Cumbria
How long have you done this job? Started 10th October 2016
Take us through a typical day:
I am based in Penrith but my work covers the whole of Cumbria. I meet an experienced engineer at Penrith’s telephone exchange at 7.30am and pick up the jobs for the day, through our phones.
We deal with providing fibre to businesses. So our job pack will contain information regarding the route that the fibre is taking and the businesses the fibre is being provided to. Our job is to build the fibre circuit from the starting exchange, to the customer. This involves joining up the fibre through telecommunication exchanges.
After we have the fibre into the business, we set up the final piece of equipment and plug the fibre in.
Once done, we drive back to the exchange where we leave our vans. My official finish time is 4.30pm.
What do you like most about the job?
How varied the job is. Every day is different and throws up different challenges to overcome. There are so many different aspects throughout the day, to get the job completed. There is a great satisfaction about getting the job completed and providing the customer with fibre broadband.
What do you like least?
To be honest, so far there is nothing I dislike about my job and hopefully it will stay like that. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the weather but the nice days we do get, make up for the rain and cold through winter.
Why did you want to do this job?
The main draw was the fact that this wasn’t just a job but also a career. There are so many different pathways you can go down and there is no limit to how far you can progress within the business. The job itself is everything I enjoy, being outside, working hard and providing the customer with a quality service.
What jobs have you done previously?
I worked at a garden centre for 3 years which then led onto working for a local garden landscaping company for the 2 years previous to joining Openreach. I really enjoyed both jobs but I didn’t see them as a long term career. Working for such a big company has so many different pathways that can be taken in the future.
What experience do you need?
Starting on an apprenticeship, means that no experience is needed. The company put you through excellent training, ensuring that you are trained up to the standard you need to be to work for Openreach.
What is a typical salary for this job?
The starting salary for an apprentice is well above the UK average. This wage then goes up in stages over the course of the apprenticeship.
Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession?
If you enjoy working outside, want to make a positive contribution and work on building and improving the UK’s communications network then there is no better company to work for. It’s a brilliant company and I would advise anybody to apply for an engineering role.